If you have been convicted of a crime, you know the seriousness of the consequences. Beyond possible jail time, fines, and parole, you face dozens of other barriers and biases just because you have been convicted. In some cases, carrying a conviction can have implications of where you are hired or where you go to school. And with the increasing available amount of public records, it is too easy for others to find out your private information on the web.
Expungement, or more commonly known as record sealing, is the process of completely removing any record of a criminal conviction from public record. Your record is not totally gone, but for all general purposes, it is completely inaccessible. After having your record expunged, the only people who would have any access to it is the Department of Human Services, a district attorney, or other interested parties.
In most cases, juvenile convictions can be expunged from your record. By expunging juvenile records, you can hide any knowledge that a record existed, or that any conviction took place. If you have:
- No current criminal charges against you
- Have been rehabilitated
- Have not been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, or charged with any other juvenile crime
- Or, can prove to the court that the community would be best served if your record is expunged,
you could qualify to have your record sealed. However, not all people are eligible for their records to be expunged. If you were:
- An aggravated or violated juvenile offender
- Convicted of an unlawful sexual offense
- Or, convicted of an offense that could be an adult crime of violence,
then, you do not qualify for expungement.
Depending on if you were found guilty or not, you may be able to file at different times. If you were found to be not guilty, you can file immediately to have any juvenile records sealed. If you were found guilty, you may file:
- 1 year from the completion date of the terms of your sentencing
- 4 years from the end of your court or parole supervision
- Or, if you are a repeat offender and have not committed any further crimes, 10 years from the end of your court or parole period
Adults in Colorado can have their records sealed but not expungement. As well, only certain crimes can be sealed. Criminal records with felonies, DUI, or DWAI are ineligible for sealing. However, petty offenses, misdemeanors, and some drug misdemeanors can be sealed. Often, sealing takes base on a case-by-case basis, and it is important to check with a Denver criminal defense attorney to see if your records are eligible to be sealed.
If you had a case dismissed, you have the opportunity to have your record expunged. You may petition to have your record expunged if:
- The case was dismissed,
- You were arrested but not charged with a crime,
- Or, if you went to trial and were found not guilty
In addition, if you got your case dismissed and accepted a plea bargain, or if you were never charged, you are ineligible to have your records expunged.
Due to the variability in which records can and cannot be sealed, it is important to check with a relentless criminal defense attorney to see if you are eligible to have your records sealed or expunged. If you have any questions about expungement or records sealing or are looking to get any of your records expunged or sealed, call the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Krizman Law today at 303.529.2677.
Please read our other blog, COLORADO GETS WITH THE TIMES ON RECORD SEALING, to read about new records sealing laws in Colorado passed into law beginning August 2nd, 2019.
Mr. Krizman is a criminal defense attorney in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in providing relentless defense for domestic violence, DUI, and drug crimes. He is a former public defender who has also worked for a district attorney and is licensed in the State of Colorado, and the United States Federal Court, District of Colorado. Mr. Krizman is a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, and Arapahoe County Bar Association. A Colorado native, he has a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in Government and World Affairs from the University of Tampa. Contact him today at 720.819.7317.